Sea-Watch e.V. is a non-profit non-governmental organization, registered in Germany, that aims at saving people from drowning to the Mediterranean, raising awareness on the humanitarian crisis faced by immigrants and asylym seekers and inspiring others to take action. The long term goal of Sea Watch is to turn the responsibility of sea rescue back to governmental and international instances such as EU and to open a safe passage for immigrants to seek safety and better life in Europe (#SafePassage). At the moment, the Mediterranean is the world’s deadliest border region with thousands of immigrants drowning to death every year.*
Sea Watch is best known for its private sea rescue operations on the Mediterranean, done by its two vessels Sea Watch 3 and Sea Watch 4. Sea Watch started its operations in 2014 when Mare Nostrum sea rescue program, led by the Italian coastal guard and EU, was suspended. Since 2014, Sea Watch has save more than 35 000 people from drowning at the European borders. In addition to ships, Sea Watch has also two small aircrafts for aerial monitoring especially on the Libyan coasts. The aim of the aerial monitoring is to provide reports of ships in distress at sea and human rights violations at sea. For example, the Libyan coastal guard, funded and trained by EU, has recurringly towed immigrant ships back to Libya, meaning that immigrants are de facto forcedly deported to inhumane conditions in unofficial detention centers or even to slavery in Libya.**
The works of Sea Watch are based on private donations and collaboration with other non-profit NGO’s and it is not receiving any financial reward for saved lives. Majority of the Sea Watch staff work voluntarily, the exception being only the captains, machinery operators and few administrative workers who receive salary for their work.
You can read more about Sea Watch operations, funding and answers to frequently asked questions at the organisation’s web site.